Thomas J. Talley, Origins of the Liturgical Year, 2nd, emended ed. (Collegeville, MN: The Liturgical Press, 1991), pp. 205–206. For Talley, Secret Mark explains “the origin of the Saturday of Lazarus, the major baptismal day preceding Palm Sunday at Constantinople” (p. 211).

Jeffery disagrees with Talley (and another leading liturgiologist on whom Talley often relies, Rene-Georges Coquin), although acknowledging that Talley’s book is “a very original and important book on the development of the Christian liturgical year … His [Talley’s] hypothesis amounts to the best-known and most developed argument that the Secret Gospel was known in ancient times” (Jeffery, The Secret Gospel of Mark Unveiled, p. 72). Moreover, “liturgiologists prize Talley’s book for its fresh new interpretations … [Talley’s interpretation of Secret Mark] has attracted much favorable attention, therefore, and it looks like a resounding confirmation that the Secret Gospel is a genuine early Christian work” (p. 76).

The issue between Talley and Jeffery turns on such things as to whether “Egyptian Christians felt a special preference or reverence for the gospel of Mark.” See Jeffery, p. 81.

Jeffery’s refutation of Talley requires, in Jeffery’s own words, an examination of a “Labyrinth of liturgical evidence,” p. 76. And Jeffery recognizes that his counterargument is by no means air tight. On one page, for instance, he uses these “iffy” expressions: “does not seem to be true,” “much less likely,” “more likely,” “tend to find” and “often seem” (p. 83).